Study to examine dying foliage at Atlantic Pond

Study to examine dying foliage at Atlantic Pond

The Atlantic Pond near Páirc Uí Chaoimh where water discolouration and dying foliage has been noticed. Picture: David Keane

DETAILED examinations of soil and vegetation at the Atlantic Pond are set to be carried out to discover the source of wilting and dead foliage at the amenity.

It follows complaints by city councillors and members of the public that the condition of the popular walking spot had degraded in recent months.

A number of incidents of flooding and water discolouration have been recorded since the start of the year, with city councillors noting that some of the plant life is now discoloured and dying.

David Joyce, the city's director of environment, said that further inspections had taken place at the Atlantic Pond on the back of concerns raised by elected members at a City Council meeting last week.

In an email to councillors, Mr Joyce said, "The results of this initial inspection indicate that the recent flooding which occurred in the area at high tides, due to the malfunctioning non-return valve at the pond outlet to the river, has resulted in the brackish salt water causing some 'wilting' of the vegetation in the areas that were flooded, i.e. the green areas and island."

Mr Joyce added that the parks department is confident that 'the trees and shrub vegetation will fully recover', though some of the lawn areas may need to be reseeded.

"At present, a more detailed examination of the soil and vegetation is being arranged in order to verify these initial findings," Mr Joyce said.

The director also told councillors that there is 'no evidence' that the issues seen at present in the Atlantic Pond are associated with pollution or other harmful substances in the water.

Concerns were also raised by local councillor Shane O'Shea that there had been ongoing issues at the pond for some months.

Mr O'Shea had contacted the environment directorate in January regarding discolouration in the water.

An investigation by the parks department solved the issue but was unable to find its source.

Mr Joyce said, "I can confirm that the water samples analysed in January during the discolouration incident did not contain any harmful substances in the water and no negative impacts on either plant or animal life were recorded associated with this incident."

Cllr Tim Brosnan, who raised the issue at last week's council meeting, welcomed the investigation into the matter.

Mr Brosnan had described the pond's current state as 'a nightmare.'

He said, "I await with interest the results of the detailed examination being carried out next week by a third party expert. The fact remains that the Atlantic Pond is a very valuable amenity and Council must work to prevent these recurring disasters rather than trying to continuously be in a position where it is trying to identify the causes."

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